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Peace, Love, and Divine Blessings beloveds. In Torah/TaNaK/Christian-Old-Testament blood plays a huge and important role in the way of life and culture of the Israelite people. In Bereshith/Genesis 9:4-6 Noah and his household are given instructions on blood as it pertains to food and life (part of the Noahide Laws):

4 You must not, however, eat flesh with its life-blood in it. 5 But for your own life-blood I will require a reckoning: I will require it of every beast; of man, too, will I require a reckoning for human life, of every man for that of his fellow man! 6 Whoever sheds the blood of man, By man shall his blood be shed; For in His image Did God make man.

In Wayiqra/Leviticus 17:11:

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have assigned it to you for making expiation for your lives upon the altar; it is the blood, as life, that effects expiation.

Including (but not limited to), used in the confirmation of a covenant, as part of the dedication of the Israelite Priests/any, as part of the priestly service on Yom Kippur, and as part of the purification of lepors.

How is blood viewed and treated in the Islamic Faith? Does it have a spiritual significance? Was it used ritualistically/ceremoniously in any shape, way, or form? References from the Holy Quran, Hadith, Articles, commentary, and/or personal insight are welcomed.

Thank you

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Peace be upon you as well, I hope I'll be the right fit in answering your question :)


ABRAHAM'S SACRIFICE

In Islam, there is no idea of a "blood sacrifice" that alleviates sin. The closest to a blood sacrifice is when God instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son, Ismail to show his devotion to god. Of course, when Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, God sent a ram for him to slaughter instead. We don't sacrifice animals (or humans for that matter) for God to remove our sins.

"‘O my father, do what you are commanded to do. You will find me, God willing, patient’. And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead, We called to him, “O Abraham, you have fulfilled the vision”. Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial and We ransomed him with a great sacrifice".
-Quran 37:102-107

Note that God says in the Quran, the blood does not go to Him:

"Neither their meat nor blood reaches God. Rather, it is your piety that reaches Him. This is how He has subjected them to you so that you may proclaim the greatness of God for what He has guided you to, and give good news to the good-doers."
-Quran 22:37


BLOOD

Muslims are told not to consume blood as it's haram:

"He has forbidden you only carrion, blood, the flesh of the swine, and that which has been offered to other than God. But should someone be compelled, without being rebellious or aggressive, indeed God is all-forgiving, all-merciful."
-Quran 16:115

Note the sentence in bold: "and that which has been offered to other than God."

While Muslims aren't also allowed to hold blood sacrifices, we are also told not to consume anything that has been sacrificed other than God.


BLOOD MONEY

In Islam, we do have something along the lines of blood money.

"Oh you who believe! The law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder... but if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude. This is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty. In the Law of Equality there is (saving of) life to you, oh men of understanding; that you may restrain yourselves"
-Quran 2:178-179

"Never should a believer kill a believer, but if it so happens by mistake, compensation is due. If one so kills a believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the deceased's family, unless they remit it freely... If he (the deceased) belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, compensation should be paid to his family, and a believing slave is freed. For those who find this beyond their means, is prescribed a fast for two months running, by way of repentance to Allah, for Allah has all knowledge and all wisdom"
-Quran 4:92

In Islamic law, victims of crime are recognized as having rights. The victim has a say in how the criminal is to be punished. In general, Islamic law calls for murderers to face the death penalty. However, the victim's heirs may choose to excuse the murderer from the death penalty in exchange for monetary damages. The murderer will still be sentenced by a judge, possibly to a lengthy prison term, but the death penalty will be taken off the table.

This principle is known as Diyyah, which is known in English as "blood money." It is more appropriately referred to as "victim's compensation" as well. While most commonly associated with death penalty cases, Diyyah payments can also be made for lesser crimes, and for acts of negligence (ex. falling asleep at the wheel of a car and causing an accident).


TL;DR

  • Islam's only sacrifice would be slaughtering goats/sheep to honor Abraham's devotion to God.
  • The blood of any sacrifice does not matter nor reach god, but only the devotion towards him and piety is what reaches god.
  • Blood, in general, is forbidden for Muslims to consume at all.
  • Blood money is required in Islamic law to exempt the death penalty in the case of murder.

I hope this answers your questions :)


EDIT

(Had to add it here since it was too long)

Your follow-up question:

How does atonement work in Islam, is it just by restoring or rectifying the fault between the parties? Prayer? Fasting? How does one atone or reconcile with The Creator?... Also, may you expound on this: "Islam's only sacrifice would be slaughtering goats/sheep to honor Abraham's devotion to God".

In Islam, we are told numerous times in the Quran that God is the most merciful. Sins vary in severity such as shirk (associating partners with God) and adultery, but there is not one sin God will not forgive as long as your repentance is sincere. There are numerous ways a Muslim can gain atonement such as:

  • Doing ablution
  • Asking God for forgiveness
  • Fasting (Ramadan, Passover, etc.)
  • Walking towards the Mosque
  • Waiting for prayer
  • When prostrating to god in prayer

Prophet Muhammad (saws) said:

“By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if you did not commit sin Allah would do away with you and bring people who would commit sin then pray for forgiveness.”
-Narrated by Muslim, 2749

To reconcile with God is simple in Islam. All one must do is constantly repent to God for their sins because God loves to forgive. By praying, reading the Quran, and essentially just follow Islam as a whole. Abandoning these things pretty much breaks your bond with God and displeases Him. We Muslims are responsible for our own actions and sins. It's up to us to repent, not someone else.

What I mean about "Islam's only sacrifice would be slaughtering goats/sheep to honor Abraham's devotion to God" is that there are no human sacrifices towards God. The only thing similar to a sacrifice would be the command God gave to Abraham to slaughter his son which he ended up slaughtering a ram instead. That's the only reference in the Quran that uniquely comes close to a sacrifice.

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  • I appreciate the diligence in your response and for proving an answer to my inquiry. How does atonement work in Islam, is it just by restoring or rectifying the fault between the parties? Prayer? Fasting? How does one atone or reconcile with The Creator?...Also may you expound on this: "Islam's only sacrifice would be slaughtering goats/sheep to honor Abraham's devotion to God". Thank you – יהודה Apr 29 at 20:59
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    @יהודה I edited my response to answer your questions since I couldn't fit them here. – Epistemophile.Bibliophile Apr 29 at 21:14
  • I appreciate that. In various places with the Torah Abraham offered sacrifices, does Islam recognize or acknowledge Abraham offering sacrifices unto Allah at any point in his life outside of when the ram was taken out of the thicket? Also, do Muslims observe Passover? – יהודה Apr 29 at 23:11
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    @יהודה There is no record in the Quran about any other sacrifices Abraham did. The only one is the test god bestows about him to sacrifice his son. And yes we do :) it goes by another name called “Ashura” – Epistemophile.Bibliophile Apr 29 at 23:15
  • I know this has nothing to do with the question at hand but I never knew Passover/Ashura was observed by Muslims. What is the reasoning behind it? Is a lamb sacrificed with blood placed on the doorpost? – יהודה Apr 30 at 0:03
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  • Blood is forbidden to consume, specifically blood that flows out. See the Quran 2:173, 5:3, 6:145 and 16:115.

  • Blood is ritually unclean, so one can not pray while their body, clothing or location is tainted by it. See Quran 6:145, Muslim 291

  • Blood of a martyr on their body is pure and noble, and they are buried without washing it, see Nasai 2002.

  • Menstruation and Post natal bleeding are a blood discharge in which a woman becomes ritually impure. In this state she can not perform certain acts of worship. See What acts of worship are prohibited for a woman undergoing menstruation? and she can not perform intercourse , see In Islam, are there limits on sex between a married couple?

  • Bleeding is a nullifier of wudu according to some schools of thought. See Which things break the wudu?

  • Sacrifices. There are animal sacrifices in Islam. The most primary one being (also under ) or commonly known as the sacrifice of Eid al-Azha, shedding blood is the primary act of worship in it, see Tirmidhi 1493. Closely related is the hadiy which is done in pilgrimage and as compensation for mistakes in it. Other than that there is which is a sacrifice done on the occasion of the birth of a child. One can also do a voluntary sacrifice as a general act of worship.

  • Blood (i.e. life) of a Muslim, Dhimmi, Musta’min or Mu‘aahid is sacred and can not be shed without a legal reason such as the penalty for murder or adultery etc. Quran 2:84 , Bukhari 6878 and numerous other references on the prohibition of murder.

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